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Charges Pending in GA Animal Hording Case

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By Jason Beahm on September 17, 2010 7:12 AM

On most days I'm an optimist. But on some days I can't help but say, "It's a very very, mad world."

What's the cause of my discontent? Police in Georgia have filed charges against a women who is accused of hoarding dogs and cats in a strange animal hording case. How many dogs and cats? 20? 50? 100? How about 130 dogs and cats in her home in rural Cherokee County.

Sure, animal hoarding is weird, but here's where it gets extra ugly. Many of the animals were dehydrated and showed signs of neglect. Worse, when authorities arrived at her house after calls from neighbors regarding noxious smells, they found the carcasses of 23 cats and one dog. Many of the animals had been deceased for a long period of time and were badly decomposed. Authorities had to wear biohazard suits in order to enter the home. The house was covered with piles of animal waste and other rooms were filled with piles of garbage. 

"In all my years, it's the worst I have ever seen," Chief Marshal Ray Waters said, WSBTV.com reports.

If there is any solace to be found in the animal hording case, it's in the fact that one can only speculate that Shari Cahill is suffering from some kind of mental disorder. Cahill is scheduled to appear in court on September 16. Veterinarians are treating the animals rescued from her home.

Animal cruelty laws and "animal rights," are a complex area of jurisprudence because traditionally animals have been regarded by the law as property. It is only recently that states began to pass laws punishing harming animals in a way similar to attacks on humans. Typically, a person can be punished for demonstrating a high degree of cruelty, viciousness and callousness towards animals which cases them harm.

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